Yes it is a nice camera, and I agree with your comments on the ease of use of the controls.
As you have spotted you can expose the shot in several different ways. What way is best? Well that wil ldepend upon what you are shooting and what outcome you want to achieve. I would suggest that you continue meantime to experiment. Shoot the same scene using different settings and take time to examine the differences. That way you will get to know what your camera is capable of, and more importantly, it will give you a big clue as to what shot you need to use when you start filming in anger.
COMPAQ something or other with 500Gb Boot Disk, 1Tb external Firewire Disk, 4Gb Memory and a super duper sound card, 19" TFT Monitor etc etc etc
Sony TRV33e : Sony TRV310e : Canon XM2
Sony Vegas Studio editions to v11
Remember, there is always more to learn than there is to teach.